To the Water Scientists
Before this audience I had a chance to relive some of the climactic battles over water policy during my time as a Minister for Environment and Premier. I recalled my decision to ban canal estates which were so destructive of river quality. I relived the battles to deliver environmental allocations valley by valley, for the first time allocating water as a right to great inland wetlands. I also gave them an account of the 1999 Sydney water crisis.
I told them that when they argued the case for environmental reform, they needed to settle on the killer facts and use concrete language. Talking about “sustainability” was jargonistic. Better to be concrete and say precisely what you mean.
The dinner was in honour of the late Professor Peter Cullen AO, a leading Australian scientist who made a great contribution to natural resources management, especially to the management of freshwater systems.